The Reserve Bank of India's latest figures suggest that more than 99 per cent of the demonetised currency came back to the system, prompting criticism that the exercise has been a failure.
In response, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley posted a blog to argue that the notes ban had succeeded in increasing India's tax compliance.
He cited, among other data, figures showing a rise in tax collections, and of taxpayers.
NDTV's Reality Check pointed out how the claims made by the Finance Minister do not necessarily show a tax surge because of notes ban and that the increase in tax collections and taxpayers continued to grow after the notes ban at roughly the same pace as they did before the ban.
NITI Aayog Vice Chairman Rajiv Kumar said that the focus should have been on tax buoyancy, which he says, has witnessed an unusual increase in the past year.
When it was pointed out that a fact-check of those parameters put out by the Finance Minister was done, he said "I expected you would go beyond what the Finance Minister said, because he is obviously just writing a blog."
The data Mr Jaitley put out was not just limited to his blog; he also sent out a series of tweets from his official handle with the same data.
Cash once deposited removes anonymity of its owner. Accordingly,post demonetisation about 1.8 million depositors have been identified for enquiry.Many of them are being fastened with Tax and Penalties.Mere deposit in a bank does not lead to a presumption that it is Tax paid Money— Arun Jaitley (@arunjaitley) August 30, 2018
The phenomenal increase in the number of IT returns filed (in March 2014, it was 3.8 Cr. In 2017-18, this figure has grown to 6.86 Cr) is reflective of impact of demonetisation along with evidence of growing economy.— Arun Jaitley (@arunjaitley) August 30, 2018
The number of New Returns filed post demonetisation increased in the past two years by 85.51 Lakhs and 1.07 crore. The Income Tax collections have increased from the 2013-14 figure of 6.38 Lakh crore to the 2017-18 figure of 10.02 Lakh crore. Data reveals itself to anyone prudent— Arun Jaitley (@arunjaitley) August 30, 2018
Mr Kumar defended demonetisation, insisting that the scheme was not a failure, and that he supported it on "moral grounds."
Mr Kumar, talking to NDTV, said that he had backed the move from 2007-08, as a means to 'drain the swamp'. "It (notes ban) was needed to reintroduce probity, integrity in our social and economic system," he said.
When asked if in hindsight he would recommend the notes ban again, Mr Kumar answered in the affirmative. "I would do it any day to cleanse my economy, to formalise it, (and) to improve tax compliance behaviour," he said.
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